TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is coming to RSPB Fairburn Ings as part of a UK-wide nature campaign.
The Springwatch host will visit the Newton Lane reserve, near Leeds, on July 19 during his ‘UK Bioblitz – nature reserves are not enough!’ tour of 48 sites.
It the first independent audit of its kind in the UK involving Citizen Science, where the public share nature sightings with professionals.
Mr Packham’s goal is to highlight the extent to which the nation’s species are under threat.
He said: “I’m doing this because I want to highlight that the UK’s landscape is in big trouble. We should have a far greater expectation of having wildlife around us all of the time but sadly we find ourselves going to nature reserves.”
“We treat them like they’re museums and art galleries, we go there, we get fully satisfied there’s lots of life, but on the way home when we’re driving through the countryside there’s nothing left. Some parts of it are absolutely bereft, they’re deserts, and what we want to do is say to people ‘that’s not good enough’. We want wildlife everywhere; nature reserves are not enough”
The ultimate aim is to celebrate some conservation success stories, but also to flag up some of its failures. The results of the 2018 audit will be recorded to create a benchmark. This will help measure the rise and fall in numbers of different species on these sites in the future. The campaign is also Crowd-funding with all monies raised being distributed back into grass roots front-line conservation projects they’ve visited, as well as to The National Autistic Society.